The Framework of Plasma Physics

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Plasma physics is a necessary part of our understanding of stellar and galactic structure. It determines the magnetospheric environment of the earth and other planets it forms the research frontier in such areas as nuclear fusion, advanced accelerators, and high power lasers and its applications to various industrial processes (such as computer chip manufacture) are rapidly increasing. It is thus a subject with a long list of scientific and technological applications. This book provides the scientific background for understanding such applications, but it emphasizes something else: the intrinsic scientific interest of the plasma state. It attempts to develop an understanding of this state, and of plasma behaviour, as thoroughly and systematically as possible. The book was written with the graduate student in mind, but most of the material would also fit into an upper-level undergraduate course.